Prehistory and early history
The area of what is now Luxembourg was inhabited as early as the Paleolithic Age. One of the oldest settlements is Oetringen, where 15,000 year old bones were found. In the Neolithic Age, people settled here too. Different cultures formed.
In the Iron Age, the Titelberg was the most important settlement. It is located in the southwest of today’s country, in the triangle with France and Belgium. There were Celts who lived here, from the Treveri tribe. In the 1st century BC The Romans came and conquered the area. It became part of the Roman Empire.
Part of the Franconian Empire
In the 5th century, the Franks pushed back the Romans and Luxembourg became part of the Frankish Empire. Christianity spread and many monasteries were built. The Echternach monastery was founded in Luxembourg in 698.
With the division of the Franconian Empire, Luxembourg’s area in 843 first became part of the Central Franconian Empire of Lothar, and then in 925 to the Eastern Franconian Empire. That eventually became the Holy Roman Empire.
Lucilinburhuc Castle was first mentioned in 963. Count Siegfried I acquired the rock with this castle. From 1083, his descendants called themselves Counts of Luxembourg after this castle.
Duchy of Luxembourg
In 1308 Heinrich von Luxemburg was elected Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. His son John became King of Bohemia in 1310. In this way they expanded the power of the Luxembourgers. In 1354 the county became a duchy. Wenceslas I became the first duke. With the death of Sigismund, the main line of the Luxembourgers died out in 1437. The duchy came to the House of Burgundy, later to the House of Habsburg. The rulership changed several times.
In the 17th century, Luxembourg lost parts of its country, which at that time was larger than today’s territory, to France. Luxembourg came under French rule again and again, for example from 1684 to 1697 and again at the beginning of the 19th century.
Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in the 19th century
When the Holy Roman Empire ended in 1806, Luxembourg initially fell to France. The Congress of Vienna decided in 1815 that Luxembourg should belong to the German Confederation. It was also elevated to a Grand Duchy. At the same time, the Dutch king ruled in personal union as the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The Congress of Vienna decided that too. The rule over Luxembourg was intended to compensate the Netherlands for the loss of other areas.
In 1866 the German Confederation dissolved. A year later the Luxembourg crisis broke out. Napoleon III France wanted to buy Luxembourg from the Netherlands. There was strong protest in Luxembourg against this. Finally, Luxembourg was declared “forever neutral ” at a meeting of the great powers.
In 1890 the Dutch King Wilhelm III died. without male descendants and so in Luxembourg the closest relatives, the dukes of Nassau-Weilburg, came to the ducal throne. Adolf von Nassau became Grand Duke.
The Grand Duchesses Marie and Charlotte
In 1912 the Nassau-Weilburg line died out because Wilhelm IV had no male descendants. After a change in the law, his daughter Marie initially followed him to the throne. During the First World War, Luxembourg was occupied by German troops. Marie was accused of being too pro-German.
In 1919 Marie resigned and named her sister Charlotte as her successor. A referendum confirmed this decision. Charlotte married Felix von Bourbon-Parma. However, their name determined the ruling dynasty, which was now the House of Luxemburg-Nassau. When Luxembourg was again occupied by German troops in 1940, Charlotte and her family fled into exile. From there she became a symbol of the freedom and independence of her country. In 1944, Luxembourg was liberated by American troops and the family returned. In 1948, the “permanent neutrality” that had existed since 1867 was formally abolished.
Charlotte remained Grand Duchess until 1964, when she abdicated in favor of her son Jean.
The Grand Dukes Jean (1964-2000) and Henri (since 2000)
In 1964, Charlotte’s son Jean became Grand Duke. As a country located in Europe detailed by militarynous, Luxembourg developed from an agricultural and industrialized country to a center for services. International banks and other companies settled in Luxembourg. Luxembourg established a customs and economic union (Benelux countries) with the Netherlands and Belgium. In 1957, Luxembourg was one of the founding members of the European Economic Community.
In 1985, the Schengen Agreement was signed in the Luxembourg Moselle town of Schengen. It regulates the abolition of border controls in the participating states. Today, Luxembourg is the seat of the EU Council of Ministers, the European Court of Justice, the EU Commission and the European Court of Auditors. You can find more information about the EU here !
Grand Duke Jean remained in office until 2000, when he abdicated in favor of his son Henri. The euro has been used to pay in Luxembourg since 2002.